Small Comforts

Sunday, April 26, 2020


How small comforts encountered while working from home lightened my week.

They say it's best to choose a space inside our homes where you can work beside a window. Working beside a window allows us to look out from inside; we can see the sunlight peering through, the trees swaying along to the breeze, and the shadows of leaves playing on the walls. These are small details, but can be a source of comfort and inspiration we didn't know we needed.

Looking out from our window allows our eyes and minds to wander, to appreciate and think about how our surroundings were beautifully designed by God. Seeing green can be relaxing, as we associate it with other meanings. For me I would think of the words silent, living, growing. Genuine beauty after all is simply there, it never demands to be seen or heard. Less talk, more green as I always say.

One time, as I was speaking with my counterpart through a videoconference call, I couldn't help but shift my attention towards my window, as I could hear the cheerful and playful chirping of birds.

"Are those birds?", she asked out of curiosity. "Yes, they are, you can hear it from your side?", I asked, feeling a bit embarrassed. "Yeah, totally!", she responded. We both laughed. I used to stress out so much about extra noise for whenever I'm part of an ongoing videoconference, but nothing needs to be perfect now, does it?

My conversations nowadays no longer revolve solely around the work that has to be done. I can say that I've gotten to know my colleagues even better now, as we collectively live through the same uncertain time. We now talk more about how life is, how we're really doing, and in that one instance we found that small comfort of hearing the birds chirp outside my window.

It suddenly dawned on me that I might not get the same experience as for when I'm working back inside our office, in a tall glass building at the center of Makati City where I wish for there to be more greens. Nonetheless, I'm going to enjoy hearing the birds outside my window, and it's one thing I look forward to for as long as we continue with this work from home setting.


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Another small comfort would be that in our daily team huddles, our team leads would usually ask us the question for the day. One of these questions were, what do you consider to be your small win for the week? It took a while for any of us to answer, as it seemed like we were all trying our best to recall an instance when we had a win, or what exactly were considered to be wins, anyway?

It made me realize that such wins will always be subjective, and especially during this time, I think we're all winning in our own small ways. I think we include the word "small" because it's personal and meaningful to each of us, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's insignificant.

Once someone got to share theirs, the ball just kept rolling; everyone eventually got enthusiastic with sharing about their small wins for the week, whether about work or life. In a way, it was a small comfort to be celebrating with everyone albeit virtually.

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Allow me to share yet another small comfort to close this entry. My creative friend, Sab invited me to join a virtual open mic via Zoom on Friday. To briefly describe it, it's a safe space where creatives can gather and share about their works. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but Sab just asked if it would be alright if I would share about my paintings. Without giving it so much thought, I agreed.

Friday night came, and I went in without expectations. Joining in the call, I was greeted by a bunch of strangers; Sab was the only person I knew. I was a bunch of nerves at first, but when the first set came, a guy playing guitar and singing an original song he wrote, I began feeling more relaxed and thought that this probably wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Then came in even more sets of people simply singing, playing instruments, reciting poems, and sharing about their inspiration and reasons to write such songs. Lots of people were on the chatbox simply cheering on the person who was sharing/performing.

It didn't take me too long to realize that the sharing of raw human emotions really connects us even if we are in a room full of strangers. It was a night filled with just appreciation and support.

The time came for me to share my paintings, and I told them that unlike most of them, I didn't really have any backstories for what I paint, though for what I know, I paint because it relaxes me. I paint whenever I have a lot of thoughts in my head, not because it solves my problems, but rather it helps me come to terms with them. I shared more about why I paint here. It's important after all to know why we do the things we do, and it was lovely hearing from all the people I met from that night.

In closing, I want to share with you all this song Sab sang for us. More than a love song, it's a reminder for us that it's okay to stay still for a while wherever we are.



It's written and beautifully sung in Tagalog; certainly a calm and relaxing listen. It's about slowing down and letting time deal with our emotions, asking for some time to rest until we naturally come to accept how things are now at the present. In my own words, if I were to give it an English title, I'd say it can either be: Let's Stay Here for A While or Here For Now. To my fellow Filipinos, what do you think? :")
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Dear reader, can you share me with your small comforts from the week that passed? 
I hope you're doing well, let's look out for our small comforting moments in this coming week, and be grateful for every day we are blessed with. 
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14 comments

  1. Hey Anna! You know I was thinking about the same thing the past weeks about working beside a window? I noticed where I used to live, I was so lazy to do the dishes because the kitchen and sink is just facing a wall but here in my new place now there's a huge window by the kitchen sink area and I find myself doing the dishes more often than before! Looking outside is so therapeutic that I didn't even notice I finished washing the dishes already lmao. Same goes for laundry and other chores! I guess there really is something psychological there? When you were talking about your colleagues and daily huddles, I suddenly miss those days when I used to work in Manila. It's good that your co-workers are asking more and more about how everybody is instead of just being so focused at work. Being empathetic in the workplace is something that everyone should embody. Anyway, I listened to your friend's song, omg she has such an angelic voice. Is she in the music industry? The song is so calming, makes me want to just sit back, relax, and listen all day long. Takes away all the stress and anxiety. Glad that you are doing something virtually social despite the lock down. That is actually a good idea - an open mic via a video conference. I've been searching for online live concerts and game shows but couldn't find any in my area lol.

    Have a good weekend Anna! Much loveđź’•


    Ann | www.annchoi.me

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    1. There's really something about looking out our windows and seeing and hearing nature that does wonders for us, doesn't it? :) I'm happy to hear about your experience, that the simple chores that used to take so much time before are now something that you enjoy even more.

      Interesting to know that you used to work in Manila!! It was a dream for me to work in Makati, but now I'm not so sure anymore due to the traffic situation that will never get better :P I agree with you totally, this quarantine season has made us become more emphatic towards each other, and that's something I hope will continue even after all this.

      I met Sab through college in DLSU Manila. She's been very active in the arts since then, and I'm happy to see that she continues to bring creatives together even now as we are all working young professionals. Would you like to join us sometime? The open mic happens every Friday :) it's open to all. Just let me know!

      This weekend feels fast for me to be honest, but I'm grateful. Hope you're having a great weekend as well, Ann! Thank you for your time.

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  2. I love these types of posts! Oooh I agree with you - it is great to work right next to the window. It feels relaxing to be able to see what is going on outside. It is a good reminder that there is still life going on outside. It is great that you get to know your colleagues better. I feel like I need to do a better job of actually joining our happy hour calls. It is great that you got to join the call and do some cool creative things together!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! Life really does go beyond our work laptops, definitely. When the opportunity presents itself to have happy hours or attend virtual social events, I'd take it. The experience may not be the same as when in-person, but it is still an experience, nonetheless. :) Hope you're having a wonderful weekend, Nancy! Thanks for your time on here.

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  3. This post is so beautiful - I try to find small comforts in this uncertain time, especially when I'm out walking my dogs. Finding comfort in the smallest things is one of the most beautiful and amazing moments for humans, and it can be a difficult thing to do if your life is always busy and bustling. It kind of reminded me of a book I once read, The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide. It's such a good read and it makes you appreciate and find things in the tiniest things around you. I highly recommend it!

    nicole | wallflowerings.com

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    1. Thank you, Nicole! It's true what you say, sometimes whenever I look back at the week, I almost always remember the times I took a pause to refresh myself, whether it be through a simple activity like drinking water or sitting down at our living room to have a quick chat with my parents before going back to work. Thank you so much for your recommendation as well, I'll definitely check it out. :")

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  4. Aww this is so nice..
    I'm actually blogging and reading this post next to a window. I have a coffee next to me, and the breeze and cars driving by is such a nice feeling..
    That's just so awesome that you got to join other creative people and share your art... i love that.
    I would love to join calls like that and share something, but im not the show n tell kind of girl lol
    im really shy so i hope to do things like that with my friends eheh

    i guess my small comfort is being able to wake early and eat a piece of toast and pet the family cat. i got to play some video games, and i didn't fall back to sleep.
    i like waking up early and staying up, because usually i will sleep until midday or later, and im working on stopping that routine.

    thanks for sharing such a lovely post!

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    1. It's lovely, how you've described your present moment. :) I can also imagine it, and it feels calming.
      Haha! I get what you mean. I'm also like that, but from time to time I come out of my shell to do something unexpected of me, just for the thrill and experience of it, because most times it actually turns out quite alright and memorable!

      Your small comfort for the week sounds so nice, I like the warm feeling of toast on my hands, and it's cool that you have a family cat.
      I like waking up early as well definitely, but not staying up-- I've become a grandma in this sense, as I like sleeping early :") I hope you get to follow a routine that works well for you, and that keeps you healthy.

      Thank you for your time with me. <3

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  5. I really love working in sunlight by windows and I would say that sunny days have definitely been a small comfort for me. That zoom call also sounds like so much fun and I'd like to hear about more of your paintings! ♡

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    1. Sunny days, totally! I love seeing how bright it is outside, especially when the sky is so blue. It's energizing somehow!
      Wow, thank you.. Perhaps I will share more about my paintings sometime soon. :) I'm also a fan of your art, especially on Instagram, always looking forward to seeing more!

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  6. Hi Anna! This is a great way to look at things and stay positive despite the crisis. I agree on everything about this entry. Most especially about plants! I've been trying to incorporate plans in my bedroom and slowly in the rest of the house. It definitely serves as a breather in the midst of all the excel files! hahaha Stay safe!

    x,
    bit.ly/caeblog

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    1. Hello Cae :) Plants are really great; they bring life and comfort to any space. I feel you with all those excel files . . . a quick break from work won't hurt! Thank you for your time with me here!

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  7. Seeing the sunshine streaming through my window in the morning, seeing plants in the garden and yes hearing birds chirping are small comforts for me too these days too. The song is very nice btw.

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    1. Even in this year 2021, they still remain to be mine as well:) I'm glad you like the song, I'm proud of my friend for being able to make this!

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